Missouri women’s basketball trounces Ole Miss on Senior Night

Freshmen Aijha Blackwell and Hayley Frank led the Tigers in scoring on Senior Night.
Missouri freshman Aijha Blackwell goes for a layup in action against Ole Miss on Feb. 23. Photo by Kirubel Mesfin

Missouri women’s basketball’s freshmen stole the show on Senior Night, leading the Tigers (8-19, 5-9 SEC) to a win over Ole Miss (7-20, 0-14), 82-67. The Tigers honored their four seniors, Amber Smith, Hannah Schuchts, Jordan Roundtree and Jordan Chavis.

“You go through a four-year journey,” coach Robin Pingeton said. “On one hand it feels like it’s been forever and on the other hand it seems like it goes by in the blink of an eye.”

The win over the Rebels marks the Tigers’ first multi-game win streak of the season. Missouri dominated from the onset, keeping a double-digit lead for almost the entire contest.

Freshman Hayley Frank led the Tigers in scoring for the night with 22, shooting a perfect 7-7 from the floor. Freshman Aijha Blackwell added 20 points of her own, along with 10 rebounds.

The Tigers stormed out to a 9-0 lead in the first two minutes of the game. Missouri’s 9-0 advantage was its largest of the season before its opponent had scored a point.

In Missouri’s win over Ole Miss earlier in the season, it dominated the first quarter, leading 22-6 at the end of the period. The Tigers exhibited similar control on Senior Night, leading the Rebels 17-6 after one.

The Tigers continued their trouncing of the Rebels in the second, a 12-0 run putting them up 26-6 halfway through the quarter, doubling Ole Miss’ score in just over five minutes. Ole Miss began the game shooting 0-14 from three before hitting its first late in the second.

The seniors paced the Tigers’ scoring in the first half. Smith’s nine points tied for their highest total and the four seniors 20 of Missouri’s 35 first-half points.

Ole Miss chipped away at Missouri’s lead in the third, putting together a 20-13 run to pull within 12 halfway through the quarter. After connecting on only two of their 16 threes in the first half, the Rebels hit 4-5 five minutes into the third.

Both offenses switched into high gear in the third, combining for 55 points, four more than the teams combined for in the first half. Ole Miss nearly doubled its first-half total, scoring 29 in the third to 16 in the first half.

It was the freshman carrying the scoring load in the third quarter on Senior Night, Blackwell (8) and Frank (7) combining for 15 points, over half of Missouri’s total. The Tigers opened the fourth quarter on a 12-6 run, extending the lead above 20.

Missouri faces Auburn (9-17, 3-11 SEC) in its last home game of the season on Thursday, seeking its third straight win of the season.

Edited by Eli Hoff | ehoff@themaneater.com

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